Yes, once again we will be back in person. CVC and I met a couple of weekends ago and we considered many factors in making this decision. We are so happy to invite you all back this Sunday. We will also continue to worship together online. If you aren't feeling up to being in-person yet or you are feeling ill yourself, please continue to utilize our worship time together on Facebook, YouTube, or our website.
Details below for in-person worship:
When: 10:30 am
Where: Serenity's Prayer Garden
Bring: a chair if you like, water, snacks, and a heart ready to praise Jesus!
Do: Wearing a mask and social distancing is key.
I'm proud of you all for being so flexible. We are changing our worship time once again due to the weather. 9am can be chilly on a Sunday morning this time of year. 10:30 should be a bit better!
Thank God! Seek the Lord!
"And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you." Ps. 9:10
Due to the rise in COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations in the state, Serenity will be worshipping online once again for the foreseeable future. This is the last thing I would want for us as your pastor. I know the value of being together, worshipping and praying in person. But, there is something that I as your pastor must do is protect the flock. This virus is rampant in AZ; in fact, we have the highest rate of transmission in the world. So, with much prayer and counsel from many in and out of the church, talking with those who are ill and have family members who are ill, I am making this decision.
I encourage you to assemble together online until the worst of this virus has passed and the infection rate goes down. Our leadership team will continue to be praying for you and reaching out to you. Please know even though we aren't gathering in-person, we will gather online and continue to encourage you in ways that we can. You can continue to be the body of Christ by encouraging one another through cards, phone calls, prayers, and other creative ways.
I would like to return to worshipping in-person when it becomes safer again to do so. I know as a Christian and as your pastor, that it is nearly impossible for Christians to get together and not get close and hug or shake hands. We are making this decision so that the church will not be a place of spreading this virus into our families and into our community. If you have any questions or concerns please give me a call.
My prayers are with you all! We love you and God bless you!
Hang in there, we will get through this. This too shall pass. God is for you and is on the throne and remember that He is our hope and our joy!
In Grace and Peace,
This Sunday, October 4th, we head back into our main sanctuary for worship. Worship will begin at 9 am. If you plan to attend in person, please send me some RSVP info including how many in your family/group plan to attend. Many of you have already responded to my Google Form about this or sent me an email, thank you!
If you feel sick, have a fever, cough, sore throat, or other COVID symptoms, please stay home and get well. We will continue to livestream the service on our Facebook page.
This service is open to all, but if you would rather participate online, that is okay! We are happy to worship with everyone wherever we are.
Our safety plan for Sunday goes as follows:
*The Sanctuary will be cleaned and prepped for Sunday on Thursday after food ministry.
*Social distancing of 6 feet, masks, and hand sanitizer are a must. We will have masks and hand sanitizer available in the entrance area.
*Rows of chairs will be spaced six feet apart. If you sit in the same row as another family or group, please sit with several chairs in-between one another for good social distancing.
*The front doors and sanctuary doors will remain open.
*When you enter the church building, go directly to your seats. Please do not socialize inside the building in hallways and the like.
*There will not be any refreshments being served.
*After the service, everyone will be dismissed by rows, the back rows going first. You may exit through the front door of our church building or through the side doors.
*After the service, if you would like to socialize and talk with others, wait until you get outside, social distance, and then talk together outside.
Let's enjoy this great opportunity to worship together! Let's be smart and safe so we can all enjoy being together and focus on Jesus together!
I'm looking forward to seeing you all Sunday!
Covid-19 update: with the new order from the Governor and cases peaking in AZ we will go back to online only worship and small groups until further notice. Food Ministry will continue as it has been since the outset of this virus. Please pray for continued safety for our volunteers and those receiving food. Please pray for Pastor Gary Marquez and his church family. Pray for the healthcare workers who are really working themselves incredibly thin to save lives.
We will continue to worship and serve Jesus no matter the circumstances! The church is not closed, even though our building may be for a time. Be wise, stay safe, and love and serve God!
We can't wait to gather and worship together in the future!
Thank you for faithfully giving while ministry continues. If you are able to give and desire to give to God please see our webpage "Tithes and Offerings."
*For my video announcement on this day, please go to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SerenityBaptistAZ/
We are continuing to worship on Sunday mornings outside in our prayer garden at 8 am. With cases of COVID-19 surging in Southern Arizona, we have to continue to make social distancing (maintaining six feet of space between yourself and others and other families), wearing a mask, and using hand sanitizer and/or bathroom to wash your hands are maintained.
We once again encourage and "give permission" completely to all persons who have pre-existing health conditions and/or are over the age of 60 to participate in the worship service on our livestream on Facebook instead of being there in person. I encourage you to make wise choices for you and your family and your neighbor so that COVID-19 will not do great damage to our wonderful community.
Thank you for continuing to take appropriate action and for loving your neighbor through this time for the glory of God.
We are open for Sunday worship at 8 am in our prayer garden behind the main building. Please bring a lawn chair if you have one, a hat, water/coffee, and snacks for yourself and your family. We are requesting that everyone wears a mask due to COVID-19. There is no children's church or nursery. We shall continue meeting online on Facebook.com/SerenityBaptistAZ - See you Sunday!
Serenity Update: about Zoom.us
I've seen a few concerns about utilizing online platforms like Zoom for our meetings. In the following way we will mitigate those issues and continue to meet together!
1. Hosts will set their share screen settings to host only.
2. Hosts will also set their file transfer setting to disabled.
3. Hosts will enable "waiting room" so strangers cannot have access.
4. Passwords will be utilized and emailed and/or texted to those who need the password.
5. Zoom meeting IDs and links will not be shared publicly on our website or social media.
If you would like to be added to our email list, please send me a private message on Facebook or give our church office a call at 822-2026.
In grace and peace,
Pastor, Serenity Baptist Church
Serenity Updates: Food Ministry Beginning Tomorrow.
Due to CDC Guidelines for no mass gatherings above 10 people, the Food Ministry will continue but in the following manner:
Time: 1 pm, instead of 11:30 am.
How: "Drive-thru" style. Please park your car in the parking lot and wait in your vehicle. You portion of food will be brought to you. "Shopping" around for certain items will not be permitted.
Volunteer Team Safety:
A team of volunteers will be bagging the food Caring Ministries brings us outside. Social distancing, gloves, and masks will be utilized for the team's and customer's safety. If you would like to help serve during this season, this is a great way to do so! If you are over the age of 60 or have underlying medical conditions, please know we would love to have you serve, but let's let others take up the baton for the time being!
We are doing all we can to continue to serve you and the community while also caring for our neighbor's health and well-being. We will continue to faithfully serve as the Lord calls us to do!
"Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world" James 1:27.
If you need anything, please let me know. I am going on a run to the grocery store this afternoon!
In grace and peace,
Serenity Update: Church Activities
Due to the Federal Government's recommendation of no gatherings of more than 10 people whether at a public building like our church house or home, we must make an adjustment due to COVID-19. We will follow these guidelines for everyone's safety and for love of our neighbor.
Worship: Sunday worship at 10:30 am will continue each week but will be held online. We will stream live every Sunday on Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/SerenityBaptistAZ/
We will continue online only worship together until the Federal Authorities give us further guidance. If you know someone who has no internet access, please let us and them know and the pastor would like to come and visit/call them on a regular basis.
Food Ministry: There will be an announcement upcoming soon.
All other activities are cancelled during the next two weeks: youth group, The Rooftop, bible study groups, Sunday School, Kid's World. The Youth Group is considering how to gather using online methods. Jonathon Bradley, our youth minister, will give further details in the next few days on this.
All other meetings, counseling, and church leadership meetings will be held via phone calls and/or Skype/Facebook Messenger.
I encourage everyone to become creative during this time. Do Bible Study with one another over the phone or Facebook Messenger/Video Chat (free). Do a prayer meeting in the same way. If you would like to be part of anything like this or help make this happen, please contact me or Patzi at the church office.
Giving: You may give your tithes and offerings unto the Lord by mailing your offering to the church office. Mailing address: 15501 W. Ajo Hwy Tucson, AZ 85736. You can also give online at our website: https://serenitybaptist.church/give. Thank you for giving to God and supporting the church's ministry in the community!
Semper Gumbi (Always Flexible). We will get through this together. Jesus Christ is Lord!
Serenity Updates: (Church Office Hours)
Due to COVID-19 and today's guidance from the Federal Government, the church office will be closed for in-person visits starting tomorrow until further notice. Patzi, our ministry assistant, will be available by phone and email in the office at (520) 822-2026 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Her hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm. If you have a need, please call. E.g. if you need help getting errands run because of your health status, please let us know so we can help make arrangements. We want to help!
You can also reach the pastor at email@example.com. We are praying for all of you! Be at peace in the Lord and go forward in faith. Live by faith, be wise, not giving into fear.
I imagine you are already aware of the COVID-19, Coronavirus. Your health and safety are important to all of us here at Serenity. Today, ADHS (Arizona Department of Health and Safety) held a webinar for faith-based organizations concerning the Coronavirus which I attended to see how to best respond during this time, and we are watching all of the updates from the news, ADHS, and the CDC. The state health department officials have given us helpful guidance on what responsible action we should take.
After meeting with our Response Team Chiefs and seeking guidance from our health professionals, Serenity Baptist Church will continue to worship. We will gather for worship on Sunday morning at our regular time of 10:30 am.
Following the state health department’s guidance, we will take extra precautions. Kid’s World, in the West Building where our children meet, surfaces’ will be cleaned with sanitizing solution before and after children use the space. We will be wiping down frequently touched objects (door handles and surfaces) and will have wipes available at the check-in area in the entryway.
I need to ask this: If any of you have an extra hand sanitizer bottle, would you please let me know? I would like to have some available in our entryway but everywhere is sold out. Thank you in advance!
We are asking that you take the following steps:
1. Most important! Pray! Pray for our President and all our leaders and health officials at this time. Pray for our hospital workers and medical staff to have energy and provision of equipment needed. Our whole nation is in great need of wisdom from the Lord!
2. If you or a family member/someone in your home is ill, please stay home and get well. The three main symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever, and shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms, please stay home for sure and contact your doctor.
If you or your family have a need, please let us know! If you are not able to get necessities, we want to serve one another and help those in need. We can all do this together! We are putting together a system for helping the elderly in our community and church who need help with simple errands and getting food. If you or someone you know needs this kind of assistance please contact the church at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-822-2026. Some folks are being encouraged to stay home and not run these kinds of errands so we want to make sure anyone who needs help will get it!
3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Please sneeze and cough into a tissue or into your arm and then wash your hands.
4. If you have traveled to a high-alert area (current places China, Iran, South Korea, and looks like most or all of Europe), stay home and practice social distancing. https://www.cdc.gov/…/travele…/after-travel-precautions.html
5. We encourage you to greet one another without physical contact.
6. If you have a more vulnerable immune system or medical complications, or if you are over the age of 60, consider staying home from church and other mass gatherings of people and practice social distancing. Please do not feel guilty if you decide to stay home. We love you and want you to remain healthy.
We will continue to livestream our worship each Sunday on our Facebook page.
7. Be wise and responsible, but do not fear! Trust God and share Jesus. “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine,” Isaiah 43:1.
This week, when you enter the church building, we will not have cookies or donuts. Please use hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands frequently. We will not be passing the offering plates but will have a designated location where you can give your tithe/offering.
Sunday night, our regularly scheduled pot faith will be postponed. We will still meet together for the Rooftop, but we will just not eat a meal together at this time.
Food ministry on Thursdays, weather permitting, will be held outside of the building. The amount of food coming in has gone down greatly from Caring Ministries. So we will remain in contact with Caring Ministries and let you know about any further changes and how we can overcome those to help those in need.
We are evaluating other activities as well e.g. youth group. Youth group will go on as scheduled with the extra precautions mentioned above. We will make changes if they become necessary.
Above all, trust God. He is good and sovereign through it all. Let us trust Jesus and point everyone we can to Him through this season.
In grace and peace,
Zachary Vaughan, Pastor